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Smokers’ reactions to reduced ignition propensity cigarettes
  1. R J O’Connor1,
  2. G A Giovino1,
  3. B V Fix1,
  4. A Hyland1,
  5. D Hammond2,
  6. G T Fong2,
  7. U Bauer3,
  8. K M Cummings1
  1. 1Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Tobacco Control Program, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Richard J O’Connor
 PhD, Department of Health Behavior, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo NY 14263, USA; richard.Oconnor{at}


Background: On 28 June 2004, New York State (NY) became the first jurisdiction to require cigarettes to meet a reduced ignition propensity (RIP) standard. This law resulted in cigarette manufacturers modifying nearly all of their brands sold in NY. However, the same cigarette brands sold in other states were not modified to meet the RIP standard.

Objectives: This paper examines relationships between the RIP law and smokers’ awareness of changes in the performance of their cigarettes (that is, going out more frequently, change in taste), and smoking behaviour.

Methods: Data for this analysis come from a nationwide survey of 2088 adult smokers (> 18 years of age) conducted in the USA between July and December 2004. 143 of the smokers included in the survey were residents of NY while the remainder were from other states (n  =  1945). Survey participants were asked whether their cigarettes “ever go out between puffs” and whether they had noticed any change in the taste of their cigarettes in the past 12 months.

Results: NY smokers were three times more likely than smokers in other states to report that their cigarettes often went out between puffs (17.3% v 5.6%). However, NY smokers appeared no more likely to report noticing differences in cigarette taste, an intention to quit smoking, or to have made quit attempts.

Conclusions: A significant minority of smokers in NY reported noticing changes in the performance of their cigarettes following the RIP law, as would be expected. However, the RIP law appears to have had no impact on the smoking habits of New Yorkers, countering arguments made by cigarette manufacturers that the law would impact consumer acceptability.

  • ASTM, American Society for Testing and Materials
  • ITC-4, International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey
  • NFIRS, National Fire Incident Reporting System
  • NY, New York State
  • RIP, reduced ignition propensity
  • fire-safe
  • cigarettes
  • survey
  • consumer perceptions

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  • * Retailers and wholesalers had six months to sell remaining stocks that were not certified to meet the standard.

  • This work was supported by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (1 P50 CA111236).

  • Competing interests: The authors have no competing interests to report.